By Joshua Burd
Industry leaders will come together in early June for the March of Dimes’ annual real estate award reception for northern and central New Jersey, honoring developer Sam Morreale to support efforts to improve the health of mothers and babies.
Slated for Tuesday, June 5, the fundraiser is expected to draw some 300 top executives and other professionals to the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus. The reception and annual Pynes Putting Challenge will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 96 West Midland Ave.
“In our minds, with a cause like this, why can’t this turn into a must-attend networking event?” said Michael Klein, managing director with HFF, who is co-chairing the reception. “That’s really what the goal is, so you will get all walks of life from the commercial real estate industry.”
The March of Dimes supports research and services for those impacted by premature births, birth defects and other pregnancy issues. Klein and Christopher Marx of Savills Studley, the other co-chair, are among several New Jersey real estate leaders who have been personally affected by the issue, giving them firsthand experience with the organization and its cause.
“The stories are endless and the research and the organization are great,” said Marx, senior vice president and branch manager for Savills Studley in New Jersey. “The dollars go where they should and it’s because we’re surrounded by great people who are committed to raising money and doing it for a really great cause.”
In selecting an honoree, Klein said the March of Dimes North Central New Jersey Market looks for “someone who has the reach and the respect within the community.” Morreale, founder and managing partner of Vision Real Estate Partners, has spearheaded some of the state’s most high-profile projects in recent years, including redevelopment projects that resulted in campuses for Bayer Healthcare, MetLife Investments and Barclays PLC.
He will follow past honorees such as John Saraceno, Ed Russo and Mitchell Rudin.
“I am humbled by this recognition from March of Dimes,” Morreale said. “It is intrinsic in the real estate industry to create environments that enhance quality of life. On a fundamental level, March of Dimes not only advocates for quality of life but life, itself. It is an honor to help raise funds and awareness to help further the organization’s mission.”
Erik Sletteland, vice president at Structure Tone Inc., is serving as chair of the Pynes Putting Challenge, which begins in mid-May and whose final round will be played at 4:30 p.m. on the day of the reception. The winning team of this year’s Pynes Putting Challenge will receive two tickets for the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California.
The evening includes a cocktail reception, networking, a silent auction and short program.